Technology company MARSS has unveiled a new high-speed interceptor for use during counter-unmanned air system (UAS) duties, touting the design’s machine learning capability and increased safety versus employing air defence missiles.

Launched at the World Defense Show in Riyadh on 7 March, the new design is a response to the growing and evolving threat posed by hostile drone operators. A quadcopter-type model with two 90cm-diameter wings, the 10kg (22lb) interceptor will engage targets at subsonic speed using only kinetic force, explains MARSS chief executive Johannes Pinl.

MARSS interceptor

A drone strike launched against a Saudi facility eight years ago prompted interest in developing a more capable means of protecting such sites, he says.

“The issue is: you need to protect your critical infrastructure in the middle of urban areas – you can’t put a missile system in the middle of a city,” Pinl notes. “How do you counter such a drone threat without creating more collateral…